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Amway endorses US/Korea Trade Agreement

December 6, 2010

On Friday, the Obama administration announced that the US and South Korea had reached an agreement on a trade policy that essentially replicates NAFTA.

This decision by the Obama administration is a betrayal of what was promised during the campaign about trade policy and a betrayal of working people in this country. Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch Director Lori Wallach confirms this in a statement release on Friday:

“Choosing to advance Bush’s NAFTA-style Korea free trade agreement rather than the new trade policy President Obama promised during his campaign will mean more American job loss and puts the White House at odds with the majority of Americans who, polling shows, oppose more-of-the-same job-offshoring agreements.

Merely tweaking the “cars and cows” market access provisions of Bush’s NAFTA-style Korea trade pact but leaving in place the offshoring-promoting foreign investor protections is a slap in the face to the majority of Americans who, according to repeated polls, oppose the same old trade policy that has cost millions of American jobs.”

The White House also posted statements of support from government and business leaders on Friday. One of those statements is from Doug DeVos, the current President of Amway. “Like most companies, we support a more competitive playing field. This new trade agreement allows Amway to continue meeting aggressive growth targets, and gives a much needed boost for all export business in Michigan.”

This statement from Amway shouldn’t surprise us since they don’t even chose to make the claim that this trade agreement will create jobs, it is merely about “meeting aggressive growth targets.” The US Chamber of Commerce is a bit more subtle in their approach and uses that tired old line that the US/Korea Trade Agreement will,“create thousands of new jobs, advance our national goal of doubling exports in five years, and demonstrate that America is once again ready to lead on trade.

This is the exact same rhetoric that the Obama administration uses in his announcement on Friday and it indicates that the Democratic White House is taking cues from the Chamber of Commerce.

Interestingly enough, as the progressive blog Firedoglake reports, most of the major unions in the US have been silent on the US/Korean trade agreement. However, there was one major union that took a stance on this trade agreement – the UAW. According to Firedoglake the UAW supports the trade agreement. UAW president Bob King flew back from Europe and was greeted by Obama himself when he got off the plane, no doubt to get the auto worker president to give his support for the anti-worker legislation. Working people who are in unions which gave millions to elect this President should be asking what the hell they have won as workers since the beginning of 2009?


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